Tributes paid after 'beautiful and brave' teenager dies days after Welsh sea rescue

By Charlotte Callear | Netherton | News | Published:

A 16-year-old boy from the Black Country has died in hospital four days after being rescued from the sea in Wales.

Floral tributes left outside Hillcrest School, in Netherton

The teenager, named locally as Blake Ward from Dudley, was visiting Tywyn North beach, Gwynedd in west Wales when he got into trouble in the sea.

He was rescued, along with another 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl, by RNLI volunteers and members of the public.

The Aberdyfi Lifeboat launched at Tywyn earlier this week. Picture: RNLI

Blake was airlifted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool shortly after 1pm on Tuesday.

But the Hillcrest School and Community College student had suffered brain damage and his life support was turned off on Saturday, it is believed.

Floral tributes have been left at the gates of the school in Netherton and tributes have also been posted on Facebook.

Hillcrest School and Community College where it is believed Blake was a pupil

Blake, who had recently moved to Wolverhampton, was described as a ‘loving and caring person and would do anything for anyone.’


Rebecca Ray, the mother of his girlfriend Stephanie, of Coseley, said: “He was a lovely boy who was the first to help others.”

She also wrote on Facebook: "Even though he hadn’t been part of our family for long his loss has left us beyond devastated and heartbroken."

Volunteer crews from Aberdyfi and Barmouth Lifeboat stations were called to reports of three people in difficulty at around 1.11pm on Tuesday.

One of the floral tributes left outside the school

Two members of the public helped recover him from the water and an RNLI volunteer immediately began CPR before he was taken to hospital along with the others.

Dave Williams, of Aberdyfi Lifeboat Operations, said following the incident: “Our volunteer crew launched very quickly to this incident and working together with the Coastguard teams on the land, the Coastguard Helicopter and the Air Ambulance, performed very professionally to find and recover the casualty in the difficult search conditions due to the dumping surf.”

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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